This week we’ve got Halloween in Santa Cruz, Pacific Avenue costume predictions, Local murderer arrested in Kansas City, 12 angry women, drunk rolls car down Twin lakes beach, transient fight at Foster Freeze, a big black maybe menacing truck, heroin in Mission street, serial burglar finally arrested, Guardian Angels in Santa Cruz, head on collision on Highway 1, blame the county, the new Godwin’s Law, The Dumpster Report, Sandy Brown update, No on 57, Hugh’s News, city council candidate endorsements, weekly shoutouts, DeCinzotized, and a few other things.

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Get Ready for Halloween on Pacific Avenue!

thriller

Halloween (along with New Years Eve) are arguably the craziest 2 days of the year in Santa Cruz, at least in downtown Santa Cruz. Pacific Avenue basically shuts down for both nights, and turns into a walking promenade for everything that keeps Santa Cruz weird. It’s usually very highly patrolled and regulated by SCPD, but they are the 2 days of the year where locals turn out en masse downtown and get their collective freak on.

Last year, 27 people were arrested downtown on Halloween night, 20 of which were for public intoxication. In addition, Santa Cruz police issued 73 citations, 40 of which were triple fine violations. Santa Cruz police again enforced triple-fines for offenses such as drinking alcohol on the street. Of the triple fine citations last year, 33 were for open containers of alcohol. In 2014, 30 people were arrested and 45 tickets were written. Last year, over 175 uniformed officers patrolled the downtown and other city streets. Police presence included additional officers from all Santa Cruz County law enforcement agencies as well as the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office gang team. The California Highway Patrol contributed officers from out of county and the services of the CHP helicopter. Get ready to get your freak on! Have a safe and happy halloween.

My Top 5 Costume Predictions for Downtown Santa Cruz on Halloween

  1. Clown
  2. Stripper
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Hillary Clinton
  5. Dirty Bathrobe Guy

Man Suspected of Murdering His Mom Downtown Finally Arrested in Kansas City

Remember that murder that took place at the St. George downtown a few weeks back that the city basically went dark on and released as little information as possible about? The one they found mom stabbed in the neck after she’d apparently been dead for days. Not the kind of story that brings shoppers down to Pacific Avenue, especially when the suspect is still “at large”. Well apparently he’s been found and was arrested on Friday at a homeless shelter in Kansas City. A witness called those authorities regarding someone matching Gaskell’s appearance after seeing his image on a local television station. Santa Cruz police learned in late September that Gaskell’s latest location was Kansas City. A surveillance image shows Gaskell with a short mustache, orange hat and dark jacket 7:11 a.m. Sept. 21 at an ATM in Santa Cruz.

More on the story here.

Ruptured Fire Hydrant Floods Lower Pacific Avenue

Around 4PM on Thursday, a vehicle ran over a fire hydrant near the traffic circle along Pacific Avenue where it merges with Center street, causing flooding for local businesses and road closures along Pacific and Center streets. Police advised motorists to avoid the 300 block of Pacific Avenue near the roundabout and Center street through Thursday night. Apparently the driver who caused this mess left the scene and wasn’t caught. It seems like at least once a month, someone runs over a fire hydrant in Santa Cruz.

12 Angry Women

Report came in around 10:30 Saturday night that there were a dozen women brawling in Derby Park on the west side of Santa Cruz. Multiple units were dispatched. The caller said it appeared gang related.

Drunk Rolls Car on Twin Lakes Beach

drunkSunday morning around 3am, a drunk 37-year-old man drove his 2009 Acura off East Cliff Drive and ended up on Twin Lakes beach upside down near 9th Avenue.

He’s lucky he ended up on a beach and not in the Pacific Ocean. As a result of the accident the driver was airlifted to a Bay Area trauma center, according to the California Highway Patrol. The driver’s injuries were non-life threatening. At the time of the accident, the vehicle was traveling westbound on East Cliff Drive. First responders discovered the vehicle on its roof in the sand and reported the driver was conscious and breathing, but very intoxicated. He was charged with driving under the influence.

Transients Fight at Foster Freeze on Laurel

Friday night around 7:30, there was a physical fight between a couple of transients in front of the Foster Freeze on Laurel. Report was the man stole something from a woman during a physical confrontation and the female was seen chasing after the male down Pacific Avenue. Apparently he stole her cell phone in the fight. Suspect was also “Code 6” (had a stay away order) with 2 outstanding warrants. SCPD knew the guy’s name and caught up with him near downtown. Let’s take the kids out for ice cream! Maybe not!

Truck Maybe Attempts to Run Over Skateboarder on Chestnut Street

Wednesday night around 10PM, a report came in of someone in a “big black truck” trying to run over a skateboarder on Chestnut near Jenne street. The caller reported a man tried to run her over, then got out of the truck and called her a “crackhead” before getting back into his truck and leaving. SCPD responded and located the truck at the end of Chestnut close to Neary Lagoon. When they ran the plate, the address came up where? Lower Chestnut. They had a difficult time locating the woman who called it in, who apparently lives on Myrtle near the corner of Laurel. They finally caught up with the woman (who apparently was in the shower and yelling out the window at SCPD that she was ok and it was “just road rage”). Just road rage. Ok. She’s either being over dramatic on the call or she doesn’t want to get involved. If you live near Chestnut and Laurel, and you see a guy driving a “big black truck”, try not to piss him off. He might call you a crackhead and try to run you over. Or maybe not.

Heroin Seems to be the Drug of Choice on Mission Street

Around 9:45pm on Saturday night, domestic violence got real ugly on Laurent near Mission as a grandmother was in a physical altercation with her grandson, who apparently was high on heroin. By the time SCPD got there, the grandson had left. At the same time, there was a report of a heroin overdose at the McDonalds on Mission. SCPD had no available units to immediately deal with the overdose.

Just another crazy Saturday night. Don’t tell me SCPD doesn’t need more staffing. I’m telling you that’s a load of mierda. Every weekend, SCPD is way overextended on calls. And this is the “off season”.

Serial Burglar Finally Arrested 

Monday night around 10:30pm, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a burglary in progress at a home on the 1100 block of Rodriguez St. in Santa Cruz. The homeowners said that they came home to find a bicycle in front of their house. They went into their home and heard noises coming from a studio on the property and a door to the studio was open. The residents called 911 and deputies showed up to investigate. The homeowner said that a large amount of jewelry was stolen during the burglary. Deputies quickly set up a perimeter around the victim’s home and the area surrounding the residence. While investigating the break-in, a deputy located a suspicious man they had been searching for walking near the victim’s house. During a search, jewelry was found in one of the man’s pockets. The remainder of the victim’s jewelry was found near their house and was returned. The suspect was arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail for the residential burglary, possession of stolen property and multiple counts of vehicle theft/vehicle burglary. The Sheriff’s Office believes the same man is responsible for upwards of a dozen vehicle break-ins in and around the Live Oak area. He was apparently homeless and staying in his green Honda Civic in a parking lot near Soquel Drive and Soquel Ave. Inside his vehicle deputies discovered a large amount of stolen property from the previous break-ins. Prop 47 has shown itself to be a license to steal locally. The judges just send them back the next day. Non violent! Prop 57 is worse. Say no to Prop 57.

Does Santa Cruz Need the Guardian Angels?

I think it’s a fair question to ask. When the city’s response to the community’s request for improved public safety is mostly deaf ears, maybe it’s time to move on from asking the city for help. So a bunch of concerned citizens took the time and energy to start exploring this idea. They have a “town hall meeting and presentation” tomorrow at 11AM at the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church community room at 223 Church street in downtown Santa Cruz. Personally, I have mixed feelings about this, but I can understand why people in the community want this. My biggest problem is this is something I think better suited for bigger cities, but let’s face it. The reality is WE ARE DEALING WITH BIG CITY CRIME RATES AND ISSUES. Stuff we’ve willingly taken on in the name of “progressive compassion” for the past 30 years. This is the fallout. A homeless services center accountable to none? Check. Free needles passed out without any oversight or accountability? Check. Liberal judges. Check. AB109? Check. Prop 47? Check. So it is fair to ask this question. If you’re interested, check out their meeting. I know one thing. I’m sure Martin Bernal HATES this idea. I’m sure the status quo political machine hates this idea.

Head On Collision on Highway 1 Kills Santa Cruz Man

A Santa Cruz man driving north on Highway 1 around 6:30PM Wednesday night was killed after the car he was driving drifted into the opposite lane of traffic and was hit head on by a semi truck headed towards Santa Cruz. The accident occured near Swanton road. It’s believed by authorities that the man was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which contributed to the cause of the accident.

It’s Time to Stop Blaming the City for the County’s Willful Ignorance

The death of a mentally ill man at the hands of SCPD has opened up a Pandora’s box discussion of social services and the options available (or not available) locally. It’s been said thousands of times by thousands of people but I’ll say it again for those who can’t seem to hear it. SOCIAL SERVICES IS A COUNTY AND NOT A CITY RESPONSIBILITY. So why do people constantly complain about the city, constantly complain for the city to do more, constantly complain about the lack of social services provided by the city, when it’s not the city’s responsibility here? IT’S THE COUNTY’S RESPONSIBILITY. And Ryan Coonerty, the COUNTY Supervisor who represents the city here, he seems to always get a free pass when it comes to the criticism. Why is that?

Treatment centers for the mentally ill? WHO DOESN’T WANT MORE OF THAT? Show me one person who said “Oh I think that’s a terrible idea”. It’s not a matter of want, it’s a matter of money. And more than that, it’s a matter of PRIORITY. Is it a priority for the county? Apparently not. And the county has way more money than the city does here. And oh yeah, IT’S A COUNTY RESPONSIBILITY. So stop trying to squeeze blood from a stone with the city here. The city’s contributions to social service programs are meant to SUPPLEMENT the county efforts, not REPLACE them. But Ryan seems to have no problem letting the city run interference for him here, so that he and the county don’t have to deal with it. I’d call that willful ignorance. He’s hardly taken the lead on this matter.

Needles? Don’t blame the city. It’s a county program. The city actually banned free distribution within the city limits YEARS ago. But where do they seem to mostly end up? Within the city limits. Who ends up picking them up? City workers. Who pays for the fallout from this county program that’s been banned in the city for years? City residents do. What’s Ryan Coonerty done for me lately here? Not a damn thing.

Reinventing Godwin’s Law in Santa Cruz

Lately I’ve been seeing a ridiculous number of comments, in online forums, community groups, and in the comments of major media stories, directed at local people (including your’s truly) conflating them as either “Trump Lovers” or “Trump Supporters”. It’s the new version of Godwin’s Law locally. Just replace the word “Hitler” with “Trump”. As soon as anyone plays the Trump Card, it’s over. They lose.

So I propose invoking “Dover’s Law” from now on. When someone tries to smear or shame you by playing the Trump Card the discussion is over. When all those logic challenged losers run out of facts to argue with, and resort to playing “The Donald” card, just invoke “Dover’s Law” and walk away knowing you won. When the best you can muster in a debate is a Trump comparison, you’ve jumped the shark.

The Dumpster Report

dumpster

“The Dumpster Report” irregularly features letters to the city from the community at large or op/ed letters from the community sent to me here at Santa Mierda! This one was actually posted in an online forum and is being reposted here with the author’s permission. This comes from Erik Sebastian Bovee, formerly of Santa Cruz and now of Foster City. Erik is a successful venture capitalist and is arguably smarter than me or anyone working at city hall – BD

2015 FBI Crime Statistics Published
FBI has released its 2015 crime stats, including reported crimes by state, by city. Many of you know the drill here: I compile these stats, normalize them per 100K and publish them each year. I started doing this in about 2007, and presented Santa Cruz’s alarming crime data to city leaders. Without exception, city leaders denied, obfuscated and/or pointed fingers, and I could find almost no one who was dedicated to changing Santa Cruz’s dismal public safety situation. I met with mayors, city council members, law enforcement leadership on their request to support analysis of the data and help discuss solutions. There were no significant outcomes. I took the data to The Sentinel, and found support from Don Miller and Jason Hoppin, who wrote this excellent article based on shared research.

In the meantime, Santa Cruz reported crimes show no significant change, and, in fact, have risen approximately 6% from 2014 to 2015. Here are a few facts to put things into perspective.

Santa Cruz ranks among the top in the state for crime, and sits in company with chronically impoverished and blighted communities. BUT Santa Cruz does NOT share their demographics. Santa Cruz is almost UNIQUE in having high levels of education, high relative incomes, property values, etc., with the crime levels one sees in a Bakersfield, Compton or Fresno. Something has gone UNIQUELY wrong in Santa Cruz that has happened almost nowhere else. Community leaders who point out Santa Cruz’s tourism, student population, or other factors should consider that Santa Cruz shares MANY characteristics with other cities: San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and is almost demographically identical to Petaluma and Davis. And Santa Cruz has rates of crime many times higher than these places.

Here is how I break down the reported crime data – I compare Santa Cruz ONLY to cities with 30K population and above (with lower populations, there is a lot of statistical noise: a single, large bar fight can raise the violent crime rate per capita in a small city of 7,000 significantly in a single year, for example.) So for apples-to-apples comparison, I stick to the 240 cities in California that have above 30,000 population.

Santa Cruz has seen an overall increase in reported crime of ~6% from 2014-2015 and here is where it sits in reported crime categories.

  • Violent crime – 8th in California among 240 cities
  • Murder – 85th
  • Forcible Rape – 6th
  • Robbery – 41st
  • Aggravated Assault – 7th
  • Property Crime – 5th
  • Burglary – 37th
  • Larceny/Theft – 3rd
  • Motor Vehicle Theft – 80th
  • Arson – 13th
  • Overall Reported Crime – 5th

SANTA CRUZ IS 5TH in the state of California in overall reported crime among 240 cities 30K population and sits above Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield, Compton, San Bernardino, Modesto, Vallejo, Richmond, and on and on and on.
One final note – WHATEVER IS BEING DONE TO ADDRESS SANTA CRUZ’S DISMAL PUBLIC SAFETY SITUATION, IT IS HAVING NO EFFECT, YEAR AFTER YEAR, ON THE ACTUAL CRIME NUMBERS. Despite discussion and hand waving by city leaders, the activity of citizens’ groups, neighborhood groups, whatever it might be, the crime numbers aren’t moving down. At all.

Steve Schnaar Never Lies to Get His Way

tool

So Steve Schnaar claims he doesn’t lie to get his way. Is he serious? I thought this guy had a thick skin. Welcome to politics Steve. Rule 1. People lie. People even lie about how they don’t lie. Steve seems to take issue with other opinions he doesn’t agree with. He calls them “lies” without providing anything more than his own opinion about whatever he claims others are lying about. He claims others are “perpetuating a false idea” by perpetuating nothing more than his own false idea here. He claims his critics (and anyone criticizing his dubious, ethically challenged “clowncil” PAC) are lying by simply pointing out a laundry list of questionable tactics employed by Steve and others (led by the dubious and ethically challenged Micah Posner of course). Stuff that involves rules, and the law, and transparency, and accountability. Stuff that Steve and his “friends” treat lightly and don’t take seriously. If Steve and his favorite PAC didn’t break so many rules, maybe they wouldn’t get criticized. Do I need to remind people not to vote wanna be anarchists into public office here? Don’t elect this guy, who lies to get his way (like every other wanna be politician), so you won’t have to “fire” him later. That won’t be possible. Elect him and we’re stuck with him for 4 years. Do we really want a local cop hater on the city council for the next 4 years? NO. We need candidates that can actually WORK with SCPD, not constantly butt heads with them. Of course, Steve will talk all about the wonderful, productive relationship he’s had with SCPD. And we know…that’s a big lie.

More On Sandy Brown’s Lack of Transparency and Inability to Follow the Rules

rcThe day after I wrote about Sandy Brown and her missing 460 forms, I noticed a special letter to the Senile was posted by Ryan Coonerty’s assistant. Of course Ryan glowingly praises the letter. He probably wrote it and had her sign her name to it. At least here, Ryan (and his assistant) and I see eye to eye on this.

This is so on point I had to excerpt part of it here:

Let’s face it, America has a serious problem with money in politics and until we have public financing of campaigns we will not be able to rid ourselves of the corrupting influence of money in politics. What we do have are campaign disclosure rules that provide critical information to the public telling us who is funding campaigns and PACs. It is disappointing that we have candidates, and committees supporting them, who use the name of Bernie Sanders while disregarding the laws advocated so ardently by Senator Sanders mandating public disclosure. As someone who has been a treasurer on campaigns, I understand how complicated, time consuming and tedious these disclosures can be, but I also understand how critical it is for the public to be able to see who has donated to your campaign and where that money went. Filing your 460 financial disclosure form, complete and on time, is one of the paramount responsibilities of a candidate and being transparent and timely in your election findings is, in my opinion, the first test of whether you deserve the public’s trust. Sadly, the Brand New Council group fails this test.

Read the full letter here.

BREAKING NEWS! SANDY BROWN FINALLY FILED A FORM 460!

Don’t Forget to Vote!

If you haven’t already voted by absentee ballot, you can still bring it to your local polling place on November 8th and just drop it off. So you can fill it out in advance and just drop it off the day of the election (which is what I usually do).

But don’t forget to vote! This city council election is very important for the future of Santa Cruz for at least the next 4 years. Past elections have been won or lost by as little as a few hundred votes, so every vote really does matter here. People have died for our right to vote. The least we can do is respect them by doing it.

Do You Need a Ride to Vote?

Lackluster voter turnout is a nationwide trend, but Community Bridges seeks to change this in Santa Cruz County. During the upcoming presidential election, Community Bridges will be offering free, door-to-door transportation for community members to their polling place, courtesy of it’s Lift Line program. To take advantage of Community Bridges’ free election-day transportation, call Lift Line at 831-688-9663 to schedule a pickup time in advance. This free service will be available to all eligible voters residing in Santa Cruz County from 8am to 7pm on Tuesday, November 8 to all eligible voters. A valid photo ID is required upon pickup.

Vote NO on Proposition 57

NoOn57logoSheriff Jim Hart says NO on Prop 57.

“In November, California voters will be asked to decide another initiative. If approved by voters, Proposition 57 will lead to the early release of state prison inmates convicted of serious crimes including assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse, child abduction, human trafficking, elder abuse, gang crimes, hate crimes, arson and specified sexual assault related offenses.” Hart states. “Proposition 57 is titled, “Public Safety and Rehabilitation Initiative”, but it has little to do with public safety and much to do with prison overcrowding and the state’s ability to comply with the United States Supreme Court’s order to reduce the prison population. As your county sheriff and the chief law enforcement officer of Santa Cruz County, I have a duty to keep our communities safe. This proposed law goes too far. I urge you to vote against Proposition 57”.

Read more in the Senile.

Hugh’s News

hugh copy City Council Meeting October 25, 2016
It was a long long meeting friends. I took notes on a number of items on the agenda but I am going to only report on Oral Communications this week. By now you have all heard of the tragic death of Sean Arlt and I know my Editor and Chief will be speaking to this too. I want to send my deep condolences to Sean’s family and friends, to SCPD and to all affected by his tragic death.

People started lining up for Oral Communications before 5pm. Oral communications didn’t actually happen until after 5:30. To say the natives were getting restless would be an understatement. From the moment this tragedy took place there were rumblings from a certain crowd demanding transparency, demanding release of video and audio of that night, demanding the release of the police officers names. I am not referencing his family let me be clear. I only send blessings to them. I am referring to the usual band of kooks that continue to push their Santa Cruz Progressive/Anti Cop/Bad Hair/Bio Diesel Volvo Driving/Bad Poet/Town Clock Gathering/Protest everything just because we think we are that important/Drink only out of a mason jar sorry ass agenda. Here we go again. Berate the Council, berate the police, demand this, stomp feet, yell, act obnoxious, hold up signs, disrespect, hiss, present thoughts as fact, and on and on. For a group of “compassionates” a group that claims to promote peace, you certainly act like a bunch of bullies. It is clear to me that you are only interested in one thing and that is being right. The one freakishly awesome and disturbing moment is when the resident anti-Semite was done speaking got into the face of some creeper with a handle bar mustache. Creeper heckles anti-Semite, anti-Semite ROARS into Creepers face. You remember when Ted Bundy had the outburst in the court room? THAT. That is what it was like. Teddy bear loving pain in the ass was missing his robe this week revealing what I believe to be the whitest legs on the western seaboard. He stood up at podium and of course put his back to Council and yelled to the crowd. Cynthia Mathews had stepped away just prior, so Vice Mayor Cynthia Chase was in charge. She stated over and over again “Robert please face the council” She handled it like a boss. He wasted his one minute of time behaving like a defiant 4 year old.

Chief Vogel had addressed Council earlier in the day and at the request of an audience member he presented again. He shared his condolences on Sean Arlt’s death, he shared that because this is an open investigation that he can’t release the audio and video tapes as they are in the hands of the District Attorney. That he can’t reveal the names of the officers involved because the Sheriff and the DA’s office were investigating the tragedy, furthermore SCPD will be performing their own investigation.

So maybe it’s time to sit. Maybe it’s time to wait. Maybe it’s time let go of control, let go of the idea that your demands are more important than anyone else’s. Get out of the way. Maybe figure out the difference between your wants and your needs. Let law enforcement do their job, let the District Attorney’s office do their job, let City Council and staff do their job. Allow the community to grieve.

Richelle Noroyan said this. “Our system failed Sean Arlt long before the tragic incident that led to his death. We need our state to fund mental health services again. It’s not fair to expect police officers to be a catch all for all of society’s problems due to the huge federal and state cuts to our social safety net programs” Admit it people, the mental health system failed Sean, it’s failing thousands. You want to be in solution? Focus on that.

Community Shows Support for SCPD

A number of folks sent me a link to an online petition that local public safety watchdog group Take Back Santa Cruz has set up to offer public support to SCPD. Last I checked, there were about 400 people who signed and sent emails in support of SCPD. I guess that offers some perspective and balance to the dozen or so kooks who showed up at the last city council meeting holding their cute little signs they made. Let’s see, a dozen known cop haters show up with an agenda and signs vs. 400 people quietly but effectively showing support for SCPD. These same handful of kooks are the local equivalent of the Westboro Baptist Church protesters. They’re just noise seeking attention.

Go here to show your support for SCPD in this difficult time.

CANDIDATES ENDORSED BY THE WEEKLY DUMP!

MARTINE WATKINS:

check
I’m endorsing her for a number of reasons. She has a masters degree in public policy so she’s not just someone with a bunch of grand ideas with no substance and no ability to make it happen. She seems pragmatic. She works for the County Office of Education so she’s already doing public service work that really does benefit not only the community but the less fortunate as well. I realize she’s not actively selling “public safety” as part of her campaign, and that’s a concern for me. But I think she understands what needs to be done there without the need to spell it out yet. I really like what I saw at the first candidate forum. I think she was the best speaker. She didn’t read from a script but seemed to be very well prepared. She’s raising 2 young kids. I’m sure she can handle the kindergarten atmosphere of most city council meetings like the adult in the room. I have little doubt that she’d do a fine job on the city council. I might not agree with all of her positions, and I’m fine with that. I’m not always right. Just most of the time.

ROBERT SINGLETON:

check

I’m endorsing him for a number of reasons. He’s smart, ambitious, and idealistic. And perhaps more importantly he’s fresh. He’s not a retread. He’s also not afraid to tackle sensitive subjects and try to identify better solutions. He’s not married to an ideology. He seems both progressive and pragmatic. I think he understands the challenges of improving public safety in Santa Cruz, a town easily frightened by a rescue vehicle named after a cute little animal. One thing I feel he does understand is the red-line level of dysfunction within the city government. I don’t think he can fix it (at least not by himself) but I don’t think he’ll perpetuate it either. I think he’s a break from the status quo, despite being endorsed by the status quo. He serves on the Downtown Commission, so I’m sure he’d represent their interests better than some of the others on the city council do or will. And perhaps his biggest strength is he’s smart enough to understand the nuances of data driven analytics and how to apply that to improving the way our city government “does business”, especially with social service based non-profits looking for handouts in perpetuity.

CYNTHIA MATHEWS:

checkI know I’ve been pretty hard on her here at the Dump, and it’s really not personal. She’s the Mayor. She means well. I never doubt that. It’s kind of a reflection right now of her job performance. But the truth is I blame City Manager Martin Bernal MUCH more for the local public safety issues than Cynthia or any other person on the city council. If anything, I’ve been disappointed that she didn’t do more this year as Mayor, but she hasn’t done a bad job, and given the fact that she has to deal with both Don AND Micah pontificating and basically derailing every single meeting, and the local circus from the public, and the fact that she’s still doing it and seems to enjoy doing it! Now that’s hard to find. What she does bring is obvious wisdom, knowledge of history, and perspective. She is status quo, and I know I complain A LOT about that. But we should be careful to not toss the baby (Cynthia) out with the bathwater (Don and Micah). You can have a variety of opinion about Cynthia but she is definitely pragmatic, and that’s pretty high on my checklist. Yes she panders. It’s an election! They all do. Some more than others. But she has shown an ability to actually deliver. At least when she doesn’t have a circus to deal with. Hopefully the next city council will be less circus and less circuitous. The new members can learn a lot from her experience in navigating city government.

Weekly Shoutouts!

Weekly shoutout to everyone at SCPD. I know it’s been a rough couple weeks and all the local kook haterade is just that. Consider the source.

DeCinzotized – Classic Steven DeCinzo

byemicah

Remember when Micah spent the night at the homeless shelter pretending to be homeless? We’ll miss this wild and crazy guy when he’s gone. The pontificating. The lone vote of dissent on principle. The pontificating. The pointless questions for staff. The pontificating. Adiós boca grande!

The Weekly Seen

ucsc

Merrill College, UCSC

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18 Comments

The Weekly Dump 10.28.16

  1. Can’t ban needle exchange-the state invalidated the city’s ban a few years ago when the legislature removed local control from the books. If someone wants to hand out needles, the city really can’t stop it.

    1. Maybe there needs to be a “deposit” on needles like on pop bottles. 25c a needle means clean beaches; sure you’ll get 50-something live-at-homes trading in Grammaw’s needles too, but it’s a small price to pay.

    1. I believe he does give them away freely (as opposed to selling them). But don’t quote me on that. He has an interesting history if you dig around (or in my case if you have others digging around and sending me their tips). I know he’s going through a rough time and I’m not one to kick a guy when he’s down. But what a long, strange trip it’s been for him. The rave photography stuff is a hoot. Has no bearing on his potential ability as a city council member, but he was around X on a regular basis while being a dance club party photographer. So the Cow Palace bust might have been a one time thing but maybe more specifically a “one time caught” thing. It seems to be in his past now and I have no reason to doubt that. And he’s been open about it (since the story broke in the Senile). The voters will ultimately decide how big a deal it is.

  2. So many things to comment on, so little time!
    I really like “Dovers” law, and humbly suggest adding yet another:
    “Paco’s” law. For those who scream “Racist!” when a discussion about crime rates,
    sinking school standards/achievements, tax dollars spent on social services/housing, gang infestation, etc.
    ultimately and inevitably touch on the huge illegal alien component.

    1. Speaking as a San Jose’an, I love visiting your fine town if for no other reason than to remind myself that people with more than an 8th grade education in anything other than the sex lives of NAND gates still live on this Earth. I plan to exchange a certain number of dollars for books on history, art, and “cultcha'” in general at LOGOs and I might pick up a classic movie or two while I’m at it.

      That being said, while the populace is more highly educated than you’ll find in a cow/computer town, Santa Cruz *is* one of those exceptions that prove the rule, where most of the homeless/drifters are not from Santa Cruz.

      People come in from all over the greater Bay Area to buy and sell drugs, engage in gang feuds, etc. Your fine town is, sadly, notorious as “the” place to pick up that luscious “black tar” heroin, better than Grandmaw’s fudge, that stuff is! If you’re an “oogle” or “crusty” looking to travel the West w/o bathing, S.C. is a “must” stop-over.

      So uh, yeah, you need the Guardian Angels.

  3. Ryan Coonerty’s response to my request to shut down the needle exchange:

    “I saw the report of the stick. I agree it is unacceptable. My kids and I are on that beach and in our parks all the time, so I completely understand how angering and scary it can be when these kinds of incidents occur.

    I met with our interim public health officer last week. We are working on implementing a series of changes including a strict 1-1 policy and other measures to reduce the number of needles left in our public places.

    I do not believe that shutting down the needle exchange is an appropriate response for a number of reasons: (1) we have tens of thousands of drug addicts in this county. Stopping them from exchanging free needles twice a week at Emeline during limited hours will not stop them from using drugs according to every public health report I’ve seen (we are working on expanding accountability and treatment programs — which could reduce addiction), (2) Santa Cruz beaches have more than 5 million tourist visits annually. Even if you assume that only 1% of them are heroin users (the number is likely significantly higher) and they have 3 needles each that is 150,000 needles being brought into our community each year. We need a way for these people and others to safely dispose of them, and (3) the consequences of not having access to clean needles is increased disease and impacts on our already burdened health system. As you may have heard, Indiana is the latest place to experience this scenario. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/06/02/411231157/indianas-hiv-outbreak-leads-to-reversal-on-needle-exchanges

    We have an addiction crisis in this community. Needles in public spaces are a result of it. We, as a community, have to address both with new policies and resources.”

    Best Regards,

    Ryan Coonerty
    ryan.coonerty@santacruzcounty.us

      1. This was his cut and paste reply. A few people i know also wrote him, and received the exact same email back. What a loser.

    1. His response makes for interesting reading.
      “we have tens of thousands of drug addicts in this county”. Does that imply we have 30,000 heroin users in a countywide population of roughly 250,000? So One in Eight residents shoot up with needles? Hmmmm.
      Then he goes on to “assume” that 1% of 5 million beach-going tourists are shooting up with three needles each.
      Funny, in all my years going to the beaches I never noticed the 50,000 people shooting up three times a day! You’d think something like that would stand out.
      Then finally, he scours the United States of America and locates a town of 4,163 people half way across the country to use as an example.http://www.city-data.com/city/Austin-Indiana.html
      A wikipedia search was necessary to discover exactly what drug they are addicted to over there https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin,_Indiana
      Turns out it’s called Opana which is Oxycodone.
      Reading through the article in his link, near the end of the article is the proof that free needles solves problems:
      Combs says the benefits of the exchange are clear.
      “I know of five people that were HIV negative … that just got retested, and they’re all still negative,” she says. “So I know we’ve saved five people from getting HIV. Now, I see that it works.”
      See? Very scientific. You might think I sound skeptical. You’re right, I am. It’s because the article links to the research paper that convinced them to hand out needles: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1057%2Fjphp.2014.54
      In the fourth sentence I see this: ” greater numbers of syringes distributed (a possible causal mechanism)”.
      So, the needle-sharing is “A possible causal mechanism”.
      Sorry, that’s just not enough to convince me.
      How about clamping down on the source of this extremely lucrative pharmaceutical drug?
      How about distributing condoms (turns out they have a real need there. And the demographics show 2,210 females but only 1,953 males.Lots of sharing, indeed)?

    2. Ryan says we have an addiction crisis in our community.

      Ok, Ryan, what do you and the rest of the Board of Supervisors plan to do to address that, besides continue giving out free shit?

  4. @ Howard Roark, so the town that proves needle giveaways work was mainly abusing oxycodone? Aside from the other problems you bring up, isn’t oxycodone a pill? So they’re claiming giving out needles to people popping pills helps to curtail the spread of blood born pathogens?

    I’ve always thought needle giveaways were less about minimizing harm then about trying to scare otherwise sensible people to believe that giving addicts needles is smart. It doesn’t sound smart to me. There’s only one thing an addict does with a needle, and it’s not good.

  5. Thanks for presenting the crime statistics that so many people try to minimize the importance of. The following is one of the ways Santa Cruzans manage to minimize its importance:

    Yes, Santa Cruz crime statistics are some of the worst in the state. But considering that crime throughout the state is getting worse all of the time, with any luck our crimes rate won’t be worse than the rest of the state in the not too distant future!

  6. Can Santa Mierda host a talk with Eric Bovee as the speaker? Or a panel discussion with him, Chief Vogel, Robert Singleton? I’d be glad to help.

  7. Please show me one other county in the state that utilizes the same needle exchange program we have here in Santa Cruz. Why are we not hearing or reading about other areas of the state with needle litter problems like we have?

    The County Health Department is WRONG in how run their program. I could care less if an addict contracts a disease from reusing needles. Why should the good taxpaying citizens of Santa Cruz who do not have an addiction have to bear the consequences of those who do? Our elected officials have made a conscious decision not to hold the Health Department accountable. It’s a pile of mierda.

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